Today we learned that Judge Vaughn Walker, who unilaterally overtured millions of votes last week by striking down California's voter-approved Proposition 8, denied the motion to stay his decision while the appeals process takes its course.
However, that doesn't mean that same-sex couples have already started marrying today, although thousands of same-sex couples lined up around the state in anticipation of making August 12, 2010 their wedding anniversary date. From the Judge's decision on the matter of the stay:
"That judgment shall be STAYED until August 18, 2010 at 5 PM PDT at which time defendants and all persons under their control or supervision shall cease to apply or enforce Proposition 8." - Judge Walker's Final Stay Order of August 12, 2010
So what that means, assuming that city halls and courthouses across the state close at 5 PM as most government offices tend to do, is that same-sex couples will not be able to marry until the morning of August 19th. That is essentially an extention of the Judge's original temporary stay by one week.
Now it hasn't been unheard of to see some city halls opening their doors early in order to permit same-sex couples to marry sooner. It wouldn't be a big surprise if some city halls decided to stay open into the evening or night on August 18th in order to allow same-sex couples to marry immediately once the judgement becomes official that Proposition 8 can no longer be enforced.
Proponents of Proposition 8 have already filed their appeal to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Most importantly, the extention of the temporary stay by another week will perhaps give the legal team defending Proposition 8 the time they need to request and possibly recieve an injunction order from the Appeals Court that would effectively maintain the legality of Proposition 8 until said Appeals Court could issue a decision.
Either way, at this point same-sex couples are one week away from being able to marry each other but we will monitor the situation and provide updates whenever possible.
Should same-sex marriage resume in California, in the event that the Court of Appeals does not issue an injuction, then may we only wish that any same-sex marriages that do take place there be successful and bring happiness to our homosexual friends.
UPDATE: (11:25 PM August 16, 2010)
The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has issued an injunction against Judge Walker's ruling, effectively staying his ruling throughout the appeals process. This means that same-sex marriages will not be taking place in California anytime soon, although many city and county government offices were preparing to stay open late to perform such marriages.
The order itself can be found and read here.